How to Become a Licensed Counselor in North Dakota

How Do I Become a Counselor in North Dakota?

Counselors are by nature very helpful people with a strong desire to improve the lives of others. If this sounds like you, a career in counseling would probably suit you very well. The counseling industry in North Dakota is flourishing, and is one of the fastest growing industries in the state. O*NET, a partner of the US Department of Labor, estimates that mental health counseling jobs will grow by 20% through the year 2030. Freshly licensed counselors should have no problem finding employment and will be offered competitive salaries.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in North Dakota?

Like most other states, the state of North Carolina requires that you complete educational, experience and examination requirements before becoming licensed. This will ensure that you build a rich background to serve you throughout your career as a counselor.

Counseling Educational Track
Education Requirements Education Length Available Programs
Undergraduate Work Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling 4 Years Online or Campus
Graduate Work Earn a Master's Degree in Counseling 5-6 Years Online or Campus
PHD or Doctoral Work Earn a Doctorate in Counseling 7-8 Years Online or Campus

The first step to becoming licensed is obtaining a master’s degree in counseling or a closely related field. The program should consist of 48 semester hours, and should cover topics such as counseling theories and methods, group counseling, individual appraisal or testing, social and cultural foundations, etc. A full list of those topics is available via the North Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners. The program should be accredited by a national accrediting agency such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

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What Are the Supervised Experience Requirements to Become a Counselor in North Dakota?

The first step is to become a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor, which will be your title while you accumulate the supervised experience required to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. When you’ve completed your master’s degree and have taken and passed the National Counselor Examination (NCE) administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors, you can apply to the board for this license.

You will need a plan for supervised experience, and it must include 2 years of supervised work. At least 400 hours per year should be client contact hours and you should see a minimum of 10 different clients each year. In addition to that, you should have at least 100 hours of direct supervision spread out over those 2 years, with 60 hours being individually supervised hours as outlined by the North Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners. Upon completion of all supervised experience required, you may apply to become a licensed professional counselor.

What Are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in North Dakota?

The board accepts passing scores from the NCE, as mentioned above. This examination measures general knowledge of counseling that you will have earned during your master’s program. It consists of 200 multiple choice questions and you will have 4 hours to complete it.

Note: To learn more about how to become a counselor in the state of North Dakota, please visit the North Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners.

Counseling Career Outlook In North Dakota

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 730 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors employed in the state of North Dakota as of May 2022. Their median annual salary was $59,860. This is well above the national median of $49,710, and your pay can increase with experience and depending upon where you live.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from North Dakota

Additional Resources for North Dakota Applicants:

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET (a website sponsored by the US Department of Labor) job market trends and salary figures for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2023.